The Ideal Application to Response Rate (+5 Tips for 75% More)

Feb 5, 2020

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Written by Caitlin Proctor

Career Expert, ZipJob

An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.

You’re sitting there sending out your resume and you start wondering how many applications it takes to get a job. What’s a good application to interview ratio? It’s very hard to give you an exact number as it depends on your job search strategy, industry, and experience. There is, however, a general benchmark, which we’ll discuss along with some tips to improve your application to interview ratio.

What’s a good application to interview request ratio?

100%, right?

Not quite.

It really depends on your job search strategy, industry, and your experience level but if you’re getting less than 1 interview per 10 applications–your resume or job search strategy probably needs some updating. Don’t worry, we have five easy-to-implement tips for you!

whats a good application to interview ratio

Anywhere from 10 to 20% is considered average and 20% to 30% is a good application to interview ratio. Remember that the numbers can be very different depending on your industry and experience level; entry level applicants might see fewer responses because there is a bigger pool, or highly technical positions might be seeking candidates with very specific skills.

So how many resumes do you need to send out before getting a job? It will probably be an average of a few dozen applications before landing a job, over the course of many weeks or multiple months.

It’s not all about the numbers, though. You need to submit resumes that are tailored to each position, as well as work on networking, your online presence, and other career development strategies.

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5 expert tips to improve your job application response rate

There are certain things you can do to really improve your application to interview ratio. Our team of career experts recommends these five tops above all:

1. Optimize for the ATS

Most companies today–90% or more–use what’s called an ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) to automatically screen resumes. Around 75% of resumes are automatically rejected by these systems. If you’re applying for jobs through job boards or other online applciation channels, your resume is probably going through one of these systems before a hiring manger sees it.

ATS resume scanning software is designed to parse a resume for work experience, skills, education, and other relevant information. If it feels the resume is a good match for the position, it gets sent forward to the hiring manager. Those which don’t meet the qualifications are rejected and the resume may never seen by a human.

2. Tailor your resume

Sending out the same resume to every position is a common mistake job seekers make. You need to be tailoring your resume to each position you apply to. That doesn’t mean you need to rewrite your resume for each position you apply to, but you should be making minor tweaks and edits to better align your resume with the job description.

The quickest way to do this is by changing your summary and keywords to better fit the job description.You will really see an improvement in your job application response rate when you start tailoring your resume.

3. Start networking

As many as 85% of jobs are filled through some sort of referral, according to LinkedIn. Get active on LinkedIn and reach out to your network to see if people can refer you for a position in their company, or someone they know who may be worth reaching out to.

4. Follow up

Are you following up after submitting your resume? You may be missing out if you’re not following up on each position you apply to.

Example of a follow up message:

Dear Hiring Manager [include name if you have it],

I want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the [NAME OF POSITION] role. I’m confident that my [unique attributes or skills] will bring huge value to [company]. I’m looking forward to taking the next steps. If there’s anything I can do to help the process, let me know.

Best,

Max

We wrote a good post here on when and how to follow up after submitting a resume.

5. Include only relevant informtion

Remember that your resume should contain only the information that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for. Many job seekers make the mistake of including “fluff” and other irrelevant information which usually results in rejection. If you have a hobbies or interests section on your resume, this is the time to rethink what relevance means to employers.

The purpose of a resume is to show the hiring manager that you have the experience and skills to get the job done. Limit irrelevant information on your resume and stick to the experience and skills that show you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

Summary

Whether you’re scoring a high response rate or you’re getting radio silence, these tips should help you gain more attention for every resume you submit. Remember that your resume is supposed to be reaching a person, so keep your audience top of mind as you apply to jobs. Make your resume look like a perfect match for the job description, follow up, and always be polite.

Good luck with your job search!

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An average of 250 resumes are sent for a single opening. See how Zipjob uses professional writers and technology to get your resume noticed.